A lack of communication between the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. and the developers behind a deeply contentious seniors development proposed for Summerland appears to be slowing things down for district staff.
Summerland chief administrative officer raised the point during Monday’s council meeting while councillors were trying to interpret a pair of letters the two sides had directed to each other through District staff.
“It would be much easier and a quicker process if the consultants thats working with the hatchery and Lark Group consultants were working together and talking back and forth,” Linda Tynan said.
The Lark Group submitted a pair of letters from professionals that indicated that soil vibration from the development would not threaten the aquifer, proposing increased water-quality monitoring in lieu of a much talked about contingency water source from a deep water intake in Okanagan Lake.
“Freshwater Fisheries spoke when they came to council about the desire to not look at an alternate water source, but to make sure that the aquifer is protected,” said director of development services, Dean Strachan. “I think this is in response to that.”
Strachan surmised that the hatchery would prefer to protect its existing source, Shaughnessy Springs.
That prompted questions from a puzzled Coun. Toni Boot, who asked if the contingency water source was still the prefered route for the hatchery, as has been discussed since June.
“We don’t know, they haven’t told us,” replied Tynan, adding that the two sides “won’t work together,” leading to confusion as the District is caught in the middle waiting for letter-form responses from each party.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. pulled out of direct talks with the Lark Group in March, accusing them of misstating and misrepresenting their positions and rationale.
Strachan said a response to the Lark Group’s proposal is expected some time this week.
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